Ever wanted to visit the British island of St. Helena? Of course you haven’t. Virtually no one does. But now you can.
Reuters reports that officials on the isolated isle have welcomed the first commercial flight to St. Helena Airport, a hub that’s better known by its nickname “the world’s most useless airport.”
St. Helena, located 1,200 miles west of the African nation of Angola, is literally in the middle of nowhere, floating in the Atlantic ocean between Brazil and the African coastline. It has a population of 4,500 people and is best known as the place where Napoleon Bonaparte died.
While there has been talk of building an airport on the island since the 1930s, those plans hit a series of roadblocks, from issues with the rocky terrain to the environmental impact on endangered species. Even when a suitable spot was found, cost overruns resulted in a £285 million tab for the facility.
And when the airport was finished last year, notes Reuters, the opening was delayed due to safety fears. That’s about the time the nickname began being commonly used.
The issues have been largely resolved now (flight sizes are restricted due to wind-sheer concerns) and on Saturday, the first flight, with 68 people aboard, landed safely. Locals are hoping that makes the island a more appealing spot for tourists.
“I’ve seen the headlines about the world’s most useless airport, but for St. Helenans this has already been the most useful airport,” said Governor Lisa Phillips. “It’s priceless.”